Building a Family Room Addition
Building, Planning and Designing a Family Room Addition
By Mark J. Donovan
Besides providing your home
with more living space, building a family room addition
can be a terrific investment. However, before embarking on building a family
room addition the homeowner should first consider several important items.
These items include: home market values in the neighborhood, financing, home
building costs, family room design plans (size and scale of project),
architecture, timetable for completion, personal disruption/inconvenience
threshold and the sweat equity commitment level.
Designing a Family Room Addition and Assessing Market Value
Prior to actually breaking ground on building a family room
addition, it is best to first have a plan. You need to determine what you are
looking for in terms of additional living space. For example: How many square
feet? What types of rooms? Once this is understood, it is then important to
find out the market value of homes in the local area with similar size and
features to the new and improved home. With this information the homeowner can
then calculate the difference between their current home market value and the
new and improved home market value. This difference should represent the maximum
cost budget for the new addition if a positive investment is desired. For
example, a homeowner would not want to spend $40,000 on a new family room
addition that provides only $20,000 in increased market value to the improved
Financing the Family Room Addition
The next important question involves how to fund
the cost of the family room addition. Unless the project is being funded via
cash/savings then financing will be required. If current mortgage rates are
higher than the existing mortgage, then a home equity loan will probably make
the most sense. If current mortgage rates are lower than the existing mortgage,
then refinancing the entire home, including the cost of the family room addition
project, may make the most sense.
Family Room Addition Design and Architectural Considerations
Once the financial items have been addressed it is
then time to focus on the size and scale of the project, as well as the
architectural and aesthetics of the new family room addition. The family
room addition should be of size and scale such that it aesthetically melds into
the original house. It should not be too small or too big.
|Frequently, homeowners get carried away and add
large amounts of new living space without sufficient thought on the outside
appearance. From a market value, there is more to a home than just pure
living space. A home needs to maintain its exterior aesthetics as well. It
is important to consider such items as siding, doors, windows, rooflines, and
elevations. All should meld into the existing home exterior seamlessly and
If an architect is not planned
for the project, then the homeowner should at least make some sketches of
the home exterior with the new addition.
The building inspector will probably require them
anyways during the permit process. Also, there are many Home Design software
packages on the market today that can help create such drawings.
Schedule and Sweat Equity Commitment
The next two items that should be considered
include the timetable for completing the project and the homeowner sweaty equity
commitment level. Many homeowners assume they can do a lot more than they are
either skilled to do or have the time to do. From personal experience, I would
suggest contracting out the site/ground work, rough framing, roofing, siding,
heating/cooling, and the drywall. All of these tasks require skill, time and
brawn. If local laws permit, electric and plumbing may be tackled by the
homeowner. However, both require skill and can be life threatening if not
performed properly. Other tasks that a homeowner could tackle include
installing interior doors, finish trim, painting, cabinet installation, tiling
and hardwood flooring. Prior to a homeowner signing up to any specific task
however, they should first honestly assess their skill and available time, and
compare them to their project schedule. If they donít match, hire the
Threshold of Inconvenience and Disruption
Finally, a homeowner should consider their
threshold for inconvenience and disruption. Building a family room addition,
particularly if it involves the kitchen, is very disruptive to todayís busy
lifestyles. It is also a dusty, dirty and noisy endeavor. In addition, dealing
with subcontractors can be challenging at best. For a typical family room
addition anticipate several months of effort and inconvenience.
If after assessing all these issues you are still
willing to move forward with the project, contact your subcontractors, pull your
permits and get ready for an exciting time. For most homeowners building a
family room addition is a positive experience that provides both new
living space and a great investment.
For more help on building a family room addition, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Room Addition Bid sheet.
Room Addition Bid Sheet
will help ensure that your room addition project goes smoothly and is
completed on time and budget.
Related information on Building a Family Room Addition
Additional Home Remodeling and Building Resources
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